Lead in your plumbing could pose serious health concerns. However, if you have an older home, you may have lead in your fixtures and pipes. Find out how to determine if you could have a lead problem in your plumbing and what to do about it.
What Does Lead in Plumbing Do?
Lead exposure, especially in children and pregnant women, can lead to developmental problems, learning difficulties, physical issues, and brain damage. While most exposure to lead comes from lead-based paint dust, 20% comes from drinking water.
Where Is Lead in Plumbing?
Depending on the age of your home, lead could come from multiple sources in your plumbing. Not until 1986 did the United States require lead-free solder for plumbing joints.
The brass used for plumbing fixtures up until 2014 throughout the United States, or until 2000 in California, could contain up to 8% lead in it. When water sits overnight in one of these brass fixtures, it can draw out lead from the material surrounding it, contributing to the elevated lead levels. In 2000 in California and 2014 in the rest of the country, faucets had to have ultra-low lead levels, below 0.25%.
What If You Suspect Lead in Your Fixtures or Plumbing?
If you live in an older home, replacing your faucets with lead-free options should be your first step. Contact us at Plumbing Concepts for help with the installation. Even with lead-free faucets, if you have older pipes, consider letting the water flow for a minute before drinking it. This process is especially important for the first glass of water you pour in the morning because the water that sits in the pipes overnight is most likely to draw out elevated lead levels. To save water, you can collect the water that you let run for watering plants, cleaning, or flushing the toilet.
For fixture upgrades to healthier, lead-free or ultra-low lead options, call us at Plumbing Concepts at (951) 520-8590. We’re here to help you with this and any other plumbing needs you have.